Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Breaks Speed Record at 111.5 MPH

Image: Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Breaks Speed Record at 111.5 MPH

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 09:08 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder, costing a staggering $846,000, showed off its record-breaking average speed on Tuesday at the Frankfurt Motor Show, at 111.5 mph.

At the Nürburgring event, Porsche showed off the limited edition model on a serpentine 12.8-mile road course that the car finished in 6 minutes and 57 seconds. The groundbreaking time was 14 seconds less than the previous Nürburgring record for a street-legal automobile, according to the New York Times' Wheels blog.

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"We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance," Wolfgang Hatz, a Porsche management board member, said in a statement to the New York Times. "We have kept our word."

The Spyder is powered by a 4.6-liter, 608-horsepower V-8 engine and two electric motors that raise the total horsepower to 887. The test-track vehicle was equipped with an optional "Weissach package" that tweaked the driving dynamics to an undisclosed degree.

"With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption," a Porsche news release said. "By taking the Nürburgring record, the sports car is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche's pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles."

Auto Week reported that the car will be produced on a dedicated line at Porsche's Zuffenhausen factory in Germany starting Thursday. No more than 918 of the limited-edition vehicles, all left-hand drive, will be built over the next 18 months.

Porsche told Auto Week that orders for the Spyder are already outpacing expectations. Porsche said it has already accepted deposits for more than two-thirds of the planned volume and that this week's lap speed record was just icing on the cake.

"The radical hybridization of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible," Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project, said in Porsche's release. "Posting a time of 6:57, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud."

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